Reid overloading Chiefs before mandatory camp
Friday, May 31, 2013
KANSAS CITY — Andy Reid is willing to admit he is overloading the Kansas City Chiefs with as much information as he possibly can ahead of the team’s mandatory minicamp next week.
Reid said after wrapping up three weeks of voluntary workouts Friday that the idea is to present to them as much of the playbook as possible, and giving an overhauled roster from a team that went 2-14 last season the groundwork for the a productive rest of the offseason.
“You give it to them now, you get it in the computer and they’re able to spit it out having said they’ve done it,” Reid said. “You’re not going to go into a game with all the plays we have in now, but we want them have a taste of what we’re doing.”
The Chiefs fired coached Romeo Crennel after last season and made a swift move to hire Reid, and he proceeded to hire a 23-strong coaching staff that includes just two holdover assistants.
When new general manager John Dorsey came aboard, he and Reid started to retool the roster, making bold trades — the Chiefs acquired QB Alex Smith from the 49ers — and aggressive free-agent acquisitions to reshape a team that struggled mightily last season, particularly on offense.
All the new coaches and players had an extra week of voluntary workouts that are afforded to teams that undergo a coaching change, but that was before the rookies joined the fold. The past 10 practices spanning three weeks have encompassed the entire team.
“It’s been good work this week,” said Reid, who felt that the Chiefs had progressed far enough in such a short time that they began experimenting with what some of their opponents may do this season.
“We took a lot of snaps each day,” Reid said. “It was productive.”
Kansas City also came out of the voluntary workouts mostly healthy.
The Texans lost star running back Arian Foster until training camp with a calf injury, and the NFC champion 49ers lost wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a torn Achilles. But the worst injury to bite the Chiefs may have occurred on Friday, when running back Jamaal Charles walked gingerly off the field about midway through the workout after getting a toe on his right foot stepped on.
Charles was taken for precautionary X-rays that came back negative.
Illness hit the Chiefs midway through organized team activities, though Branden Albert was back at practice Friday after fighting off a bug. And wide receiver Dwayne Bowe struggled with cramps on a couple of occasions, and Dexter McCluster got banged up, but that was it for injuries.
Now, it’s time to press on toward training camp.
“The important stuff is out here. It takes place in this building and in the meeting rooms,” Smith said. “We have great turnout. I think all the guys here are working hard, committed, putting in the time. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Reid has been particularly effusive in his praise for Smith, who has undertaken an undisputable leadership role for a team that lacked one on the offensive side of the ball last season.
“He’s done a nice job. He takes control,” Reid said. “All the intangibles, he has them. Just has to keep learning the offense. That’s what we’re doing. Steps forward every day.”
Reid was reluctant to discuss players who have stood out in the voluntary workouts, although he did mention tight end Demetrius Harris, the former UW-Milwaukee basketball player who has caught the attention of the coaching staff and the media in his return to playing football.
More than personnel, though, Reid said the practices themselves have been what have stood out.
Even without pads, and no real contact, there’s been a sense of urgency that was sorely lacking last season. There’s also been a feeling of competition across the roster.
“The thing the guys are doing is they’re challenging each other. That’s where you get better,” Reid said. “I appreciate that attitude and work ethic.”
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